Free utilities for tweaking Windows Part 1

I decided to come up with a list a programs I use to maintain my Vista laptop.  I got some from this PC World article and others I found on download.com.  Instead of making one massive post I’ll break it up into two or three.

First on my list and the most exciting to me is a cool thing called VirtuaWin.

I use Linux all the time at work, the only time I use Windows is when I have to do some maintenance for those in the office who use it. I fell completely in love with the multiple workspaces that you can use in Linux. I have a separate space for email, another for my browser, and another for whatever else I happen to be playing with or troubleshooting. Having multiple workspaces is absolutely necessary for my job, I do way too many things at once to not need that feature.

I got so excited when I heard from a friend of mine about a nifty little program that allows you to have multiple workspaces in Windows. I then read an article somewhere, that I can’t seem to find the link for, about it so I thought I’d give it a try. I was a little worried about how much memory it would suck up and whether it would slow down the start-up and shutdown process of my laptop. I noticed a bit of a slowdown but the benefits outweigh it since it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.

You can have up to 9 workspaces, which I find to be way too many. I have 4 set up but probably only use 3 of them on a regular basis. By default, the hotkey to move between desktops is the windows key + arrow key. There’s an option to make it so that when you’re mouse is against the edge of your screen it switches to another workspace, but I found that to be incredibly irritating so I stuck to the hotkey.  Another thing I like about it is that I finally have a use for the ability of the wheel on my mouse to click.  If I click on the title bar of a window with the mouse wheel it gives the option to move that application to one of the other workspaces – I use that all the time.  You can also add modules from their website to add features, although there aren’t very many.  That’s another plus, they didn’t add a bunch of useless features to the basic installation, if you want extras you can install them yourself.  This is compatible with Vista all the way back to Win98, so if you have a Windows machine this will work for you.

VirtuaWin1VirtuaWin2VirtuaWin3VirtuaWin4VirtuaWin5

I need a nap, more to come.

, , ,

  1. #1 by Pat Cavit on May 20, 2009 - 11:04 PM

    For an even more stripped-down virtual desktops tool for windows look at “Desktops” by the SysInternals guys.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/cc817881.aspx

    It’s super basic but uses some functionality already within Windows to do a better job of keeping windows on the right desktop. There’s some drawbacks to that method but I prefer it just for ease of use.

    • #2 by jen3ral on May 20, 2009 - 11:08 PM

      Sweet, I’ll have to try that one out. This is the first one I had heard of so it immediately drew me in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: